Pears are one of those fruits that can be enjoyed soft and sweet, or crunchy and just a touch sweet. I happen to love pears (and most other fruit) when they are barely considered ripe by most… there is just something about that small amount of sweet flavor that sneaks out with each crisp bite.
A fall CSA (consumer supported agriculture) share in the Pacific Northwest means an abundance of fall fruit, including multiple varieties of pears. I made the assumption that my sister’s kids liked pears - I was wrong- and soon we had more "soft and sweet" pears than we knew what to do with.
The next natural step of course, was to make something with them!
Deciding to turn them into something was the easy part for us- deciding what that something should be, well...that's another story.
After days of bantering back and forth about pear bread, pear cake… pies, streusels, and bars… we finally decided (well, I decided, while my sister was at work - older sisters are afforded that right, right?) on a pear tart.
The salted caramel was all for Tabitha - she loves salted caramel.
This pear tart hits the spot - nutty crust from the almonds, sweet (but not soft) pears and just the right amount of "this can't possibly be good for me" indulgence from the salted caramel.
I'll have to admit, this Pear Tart with its Salted Caramel Sauce won me over.
I may have to admit to "liking” salted caramel.
Spiced Peart Tart with Salted Caramel Sauce – serves 8
1 cup gluten free flour
1 cup almond meal
2 tablespoons sugar
4 tablespoons coconut oil (not melted)
3-4 tablespoons ice water
7 pears, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon arrowroot
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon ginger
¼ cup brown sugar
¼ cup white sugar
¼ cup non-dairy milk
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon butter (or non-dairy equivalent)
Preheat oven to 350°
Combine flour, almond meal and sugar. Using a pastry blender or two forks, work coconut oil into flour mixture until coarse crumbs form. Add water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until mixture can be formed into a ball. Place into refrigerator while you prepare the filling.
Combine all filling ingredients in a large bowl. Toss to combine (I found my hands worked best for this so the pears didn’t break or become bruised).
Remove crust mixture from the refrigerator and press evenly, into a large tart pan (one with a removable bottom). Add the pear mixture, placing in a decorative pattern. Pour any pear liquid over the pears.
Place tart into preheated oven. Bake for 35-40 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.
While the tart bakes, combine the brown sugar, white sugar, milk and salt in a small saucepan.
Gradually bring the mixture to a slow boil, stirring constantly until the sauce reaches a thick yet pourable consistancy.
Remove from heat and add butter. Now all you have to do is drizzle the caramel sauce on your tart and enjoy.
Nutritional info (without caramel sauce):
294 calories, 15g fat, 37g carbohydrate, 8g fiber, 6g protein
Nutritional info (including caramel sauce):
444 calories, 17g fat, 72g carbohydrate, 8g fiber, 6g protein
*Thank you to Wild Hare Organic Farm for many of the local & seasonal produce we are able to use in our recipes.